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Veterans: Prison Sentences

Question for Ministry of Justice

UIN 223148, tabled on 19 February 2019

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many former members of the armed forces have served custodial sentences in each year since 2000.

Answered on

26 February 2019

Since January 2015, all offenders coming into custody (convicted or remanded) are asked at reception if they have previously served in the Armed Forces. The department publishes this data quarterly and the number declaring has remained stable at approximately 3.5% - 4%.

In October 2018, Ministry of Justice published Experimental Statistics on ex-service personnel in the prison population (next release due October 2019), which indicated that there were at least 2,032 former members of the Armed Services in prison as at 30 June 2018. Details of the report and breakdown can be found at:

  1. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/750708/ex-service-personnel-prison-population-2018.pdf

  2. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/750710/ex-service-personnel-2018.ods

We do not hold information on the number of former service personnel that have served a custodial sentence for the years requested, which could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

The Ministry of Justice recognises the unique nature of those who served in the Armed Forces and those prisoners who declare a military background are able to access a range of specialist support, including from military charities who deliver services in prisons.